Bones: water living changes bones

Here I thought that reading the section on bones in the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals would bore me to tears. And well let’s just be honest, some of it was definitely sleep inducing. Until I came to the part about “two very different trends in bone architecture and histology.” OK, stay with me now, I… [read more]

Baculum: the penis bone

Walrus baculum, 22 inches long The “B” section of the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals launches with an article by Edward Miller on the baculum. The baculum is a bone located in the penis of several species. For marine mammals this includes polar bears, sea otters, seals, sea lions and walruses. Bacula (plural of baculum) come… [read more]

Arctic Marine Mammals

What better way to celebrate the holiday season than with a post about all the fabulous marine mammals hanging out near the North Pole? The Arctic hosts a variety of marine mammals including eight species of pinnipeds (several seals, walruses), three cetaceans (bowhead, beluga and narwhal whales) and one fissiped (polar bears). (For me, fissiped is… [read more]

Antarctic Marine Mammals

After a journey with the Antarctic fur seal, the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals features Antarctic marine mammals in general. These robust marine mammals live within the Antarctic convergence, an invisible natural border where the extremely cold Southern Ocean meets warmer water from the north. Most marine mammals who live further north do not cross this… [read more]

Antarctic Fur Seals

Antarctic fur seals or Acrtocephalus gazella hang out in intense cold around islands in the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans near Antarctica. Simlar to other pinnipeds, Antarctic fur seals possess an intense sexual dimorphism in size between males and females. According to the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, males are 1.5 times longer and weigh four… [read more]

Anatomical Dissection: marine mammal anatomy 101

If you spend a lot of time wondering where exactly each organ is located in a marine mammal, then the article on anatomical dissection in the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals is for you! Authors John Reynolds and Sentiel Rommel painstakingly detail every organ location, anatomical nuance and unusual characteristic known to man by describing and… [read more]